Recap by Aideena Wickstrom
HAMILTON, ON: The Humber Hawks women's volleyball team grinded through a tough five-setter on the road at Mohawk, this after a tough home match just the evening before. The result was a 3-0 (25-22, 18-25, 27-25, 18-25, 15-12) win over the host Mouintaineers. The win was a significant one, as the teams were tied going into the game with third place and a home playoff game on the line.
In the first set of the match, the Hawks struggled to start on time. Letting the Mountaineers go on an early and impactful six point run, the Hawks soon found themselves in a four point deficit. Julia Watson shrugged this off though, as she soon nailed down two kills, then hit the service line and hurdled an ace onto Mohawk's court. The Hawks had caught up by 14-13, putting Mohawk in trouble and forcing them to call a timeout. When the teams re-entered the court, they fought back and forth for the lead. With numerous long rallies, the Hawks were pressured to stay disciplined. And they did, as Julia Watson ended off the set with another kill from the right side. The final score was 25-22.
Rossella Falcomer opened the second set with a bang, hammering a kill down and leaving Mohawk in awe. This shifted all of the excitement and momentum onto their side, as they quickly worked to get a two point lead on their opposition. But, with Mohawk directly on their tail, the Hawks needed to keep their foot pressed on the gas. Letting Mohawk go onto a four point run, Humber soon found themselves in an 11-15 deficit. This forced coach Chris Wilkins to call his first time out of the match. Shortly after, Danielle Miles was called upon, where she quickly earned Humber an ace. Failing to go on any impactful runs, Humber soon found themselves in a six point hole. Being unable to slide out, the Hawks dropped the second set 18-25.
In contrast to the first two sets, Humber was off to a great start in the third. With a small serving run by Aideena Wickstrom, including two aces, it wasn't long before Humber was 3-0. Julia Watson added onto this success and she nailed down a couple of kills. Mohawk refused to give up though, as they worked hard to move Humber around. Before they knew it, Mohawk had lessened Humber's lead to a single point. Danielle Miles failed to let this bother her though, as she nailed down three consecutive kills, and pushed Humber away once again. This lead failed to last though, as the score was soon tied up at 18-18, and Humber's coach had called a timeout. Revved up by Chris Wilkins speech, the Hawks were quick to execute their game-plan on the court and earn the following point. The lead was juggled back between both teams all the way until 24-24. This is when Alex Bartman made the executive decision to dump the ball, which caught the Mountaineers off guard, earning the Hawks a well needed point. The final point came as an over pass from Mohawk gave middle Aideena Wickstrom the chance to slam the ball down. The final score was 27-25.
The fourth set of the match mimicked the first, as the Hawks quickly gave away a four point lead. Now working from behind, the Hawks had their work cut out for them. Remaining far behind the Mountaineers, the Hawks struggled to gain any momentum. By 8-13, Julia Watson gave the Hawks a glimmer of hope, nailing down three kills and reinforcing her impact on the team. Mohawk shut out Humber though, by remaining smart and tricky on the court. By 16-23, it was hard for the Hawks to catch a break. The score was finalized at 18-25, with a kill by Mohawk.
The fifth set brought a new energy from the Hawks, as Julia Watson and Aideena Wickstrom nailed down kills for the first two points. Mohawk returned this message with multiple kills themselves, displaying that they would not go down easy. The game grew intense as both teams fought for the lead, tying at 7-7, 10-10, and 12-12. This did not shake the Hawks though, as they stuck to the basics and pushed through long rallies. Forcing the Mountaineers to make mistakes, Humber won the next three points and took the set 15-12, with the last point via a struck ball that flew well beyond the back line.
The lead scorers from the Hawks side were Julia Watson with 19 kills and two aces, and Aideena Wickstrom, with 9 kills, 3 aces, and 3 blocks. Libero Kyla Wilkins added another 16 digs onto her quickly growing record. She has now pushed the Humber Hawks career digs record to 636.
Next, the Hawks will look to host their OCAA crossover match at home. Their opponents are still being decided.